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Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Guerra with Soca Warriors for visit to Saudi Arabia
Finland-based midfielder Ataulla Guerra has been included in the 21-man squad which will challenge the four-team OSN Cup, which starts next Thursday against the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Guerra is among nine changes made to the initial squad which was selected for last month’s Concacaf Gold Cup. The squad was announced at a media conference at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, yesterday, for the four-day competition which, apart from T&T and UAE, includes New Zealand and Saudi Arabia. The latter two teams will clash immediately after T&T’s opener. The losers will meet in the third-place playoff, on September 9, while the winners meet in the final just after.
Stoke City striker Kenwyne Jones, who scored a hat-trick in a domestic cup on Wednesday, returns as team captain. Apart from Guerra, players who did not participate at last month’s Gold Cup, but were added for the Saudi Arabia trip were, Glenroy Samuel (Caledonia AIA), Sheldon Bateau (KV Mechelen, Belgium), Robert Primus (FC Aktobe, Kazakhstan), Mekeil Williams (W Connection), Lester Peltier (Slovan Bratislava, Slovakia) and Willis Plaza (Song Lam Nghe, Vietnam). Point Fortin Civic Centre’s Marcus Joseph, who has two senior caps and played for T&T in both the Under-17 and Under-20 Fifa World Cups, was another addition, as was Kevan George (Colombus Crew), who was brought into the Gold Cup while in progress.
The omitted players who participated in the Gold Cup are, Joevin Jones, Carlos Edwards, Keon Daniel, Cornell Glen, Jamal Gay, Darryl Roberts, Seon Power, Cleon John and Kevon Carter.
Following the squad’s presentation yesterday, coach Hart, who led T&T to the quarterfinal stage of the Gold Cup last month, where the team was narrowly ousted 1-0 by Mexico, said while he faces challenges securing some of the team’s top players, it was his intention to integrate younger and less capped players in order build for the future. “For me right now, I think we have to be realistic. We’ve finished the Gold Cup tournament. We have an idea of some sort of nucleus but we have to build for the future. So its really a time for experimentation,” Hart said. “We have to start experimenting with players, with systems. So, in that respect, of course you are going to play your best and to get something out of the tournament, but I have to look realistically at building a squad for the future.”
The former Canada head coach said he has experienced difficulties in his job securing the best players from their respective clubs, even on Fifa sanctioned international dates. “You know, the good about it is that I’ve experienced this before. T&T has thirty-something players playing in thirty-something different clubs so it is extremely difficult to pull everybody together. “Then you also have to be realistic with the players, as the clubs are never happy about an international outing and there are some leagues that do not stop for the Fifa dates, which I really do not understand, because it is supposed to be Fifa’s mandate.” T&T Football Association (TTFA) president Raymond Tim Kee was also present at the media conference yesterday and said it was the association’s intention to utilise upcoming Fifa international dates.
It will be T&T’s first ever meeting with UAE, and possibly New Zealand. T&T last played Saudi Arabia in a friendly in 1994, which the latter won 1-0. T&T’s clash with UAE will take place at the King Fahd Stadium, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from 11.45 am (T&T time), before New Zealand and Saudi Arabia’s clash which starts at 2.15 pm. The third place playoff and the final will play on September 9, from 11.45 am and 2.15 pm (T&T time), respectively. The team will leave for London, en route to Saudi Arabia, on Sunday.
Goalkeepers: Jan Michael Williams, Marvin Phillip, Glenroy Samuel.
Defenders: Sheldon Bateau, Justin Hoyte, Robert Primus, Mekeil Williams, Aubrey David, Radanfah Abu Bakr, Daneil Cyrus, Curtis Gonzales.
Midfielders: Khaleem Hyland, Kevan George, Kevin Molino, Densill Theobald, Marcus Joseph, Ataulla Guerra, Andre Boucaud.
Forwards: Kenwyne Jones, Lester Peltier, Willis Plaza.
Head coach: Stephen Hart
Assistant coach: Hutson Charles
Assistant coach: Derek King
Goalkeeper coach: Jefferson George
Physio: Dave Issac
Kit Manager: Michael Williams
Manager: David Muhammed
Assistant manager: Peter Rampersad
Press officer: Shaun Fuentes
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